WRESTLING WITH THE SECRET
At twenty-two years old I landed my dream job as a professional wrestler. Although the job had me working my way through a minor league of sorts, I hoped to make it to the big time. Wrestling was all I had ever wanted to do since I was twelve years old. I loved the physicality. I loved learning. But this job environment turned out to be something different; it was a whole new world of mental and physical abuse that took pride in breaking people’s spirits.
Slowly and without even realizing it, I was becoming more and more negative and was losing hope with each passing day. I lost my confidence because of all the negativity around me and inside of me. I didn’t quit, as I don’t have that in me, and I would show spurts of turning it around. But then, bam! Something would knock me down again.
Just when I didn’t think things could get any worse, they of course did: I was transferred to a different city and spent what was without a doubt the most difficult year of my adult life at my new job in a new city. While things improved from a physical standpoint with my wrestling, I was mentally defeated. I had no real goals set for myself and was just letting life control me. I would watch the news and be depressed. I would go to the gym and be depressed. I would sit around and drink with some of the guys on off nights and wake up even more depressed. Negativity was ruling my world. I started having nightmares every single night that I was going to be fired from my once dream job.
One day at training, I was talking with my best friend, Pat. Pat was an unpaid walk-on athlete trying every day just to get to the paid, contracted position I already had. On this day, we were stretching and warming up around the ring, getting ready for practice. “I bet I get fired today,” I muttered. Pat looked up: “You’re not getting fired. You’re the biggest guy in here with the most potential.” Still, the negativity pressed on.
Then everyone in the locker room heard a rumor that three people were about to be released from their contracts. I went home in a somber mood after a grueling training day and elected to take a nap to escape my problems. I woke up to a voicemail from my boss. I was fired.
I was so ashamed of myself for losing what had been my dream job that I absolutely hit rock bottom. I moved in with a girl I had met very early on and eventually landed a job at Smokey Bones restaurant. I slaved there for fifty to sixty hours a week, and even though I enjoyed the work, I missed wrestling. It felt a little better when I got Pat hired and we could at least talk about our wrestling dreams and our failures.
I began to let alcohol and chewing tobacco take hold of my life in a very bad way.
Every night after work, I would buy a bottle of vodka and sit around and drink. At first it seemed harmless because I was doing it with my girlfriend, but eventually, we broke up, and I sank even lower. I now had no dream job and no girlfriend. I went from living in her large beautiful house to living in a rundown studio apartment with nothing but a TV, a cheap bed, and a couch she was kind enough to let me borrow. I was so ashamed that I avoided speaking to my parents, and I didn’t go home for almost two years.
Pat was really concerned to see the way I was living, and since he was going through a parallel story with a bad breakup, we agreed to find an affordable apartment near our job and hopefully one day get back to chasing our wrestling dream. While I was at work one day, an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in a long time came into the restaurant. He was devastated to see me in my current situation, and before he left, he told me he had read a book called The Secret and it had helped him a lot. He gave me some money and said, “Go buy this book today. It will help you.” I figured it wouldn’t hurt, so I went out and purchased my copy of The Secret. I got home that night and read the entire book in one sitting. It instantly captivated me! It hit me that as a child, I had actually used a lot of the principles in my thinking, but in adulthood, I had lost that positive “I can do anything I want” mind-set. I read the book again, and I went out and purchased The Secret DVD and got a vision board to visualize all of my goals.
Pat was working the late shift, and when he came home, I told him about The Secret. He was immediately interested. I think he saw something had woken up inside of me. Pat watched the video, read the book, and got a vision board as well. Our whole apartment became a visualization piece for our future; there were motivating images and posters all around.
Within a month, Pat asked me to come with him and wrestle at some events to get back into the game. I agreed, and we were back in the mix of things. It felt fun. It felt positive. Sure, we were still working long hours at a restaurant, but our energy changed.
One day while I was watching Terminator 2, a realization hit me. I felt like Arnold! I felt invincible; I felt that I had been through enough to be a Terminator-type character. I gave myself this new identity, and with the knowledge of The Secret, I was ready for round two at my dream job.
Well, long story wrapped up, I impressed my old bosses and ended up getting my dream job back. Before long, I made it to the big time, and now everything I could have ever dreamed of wanting in life has come my way!
There is so much more, but this is the essence of a true story about a twelve-year-old boy named Ryan Reeves who had a dream to become a professional wrestler. He lost that dream, then discovered The Secret and got the dream back, and today he is proud to be known worldwide as WWE Superstar, the Big Guy – Ryback!
As for Pat, he now owns two professional wrestling companies, two training schools, and has done incredible things with his life. Seven years ago we were living in a small, smoky apartment, depressed and defeated. It’s amazing what this knowledge can do.